Last minute, spontaneous decisions are the best. During the week my friend Anita messaged me saying she and bunch of triathltes will be in Nauders (Austria) for the road race Dreilaendergiro and they have a spare couch. A quick google search promised single trail heaven. I didn't need to think twice. I loaded up the van on Friday night and drove 4 hours to this small alpine village.
On Saturday moring I walked into the tourist info with my planned routes and half an hour later came out with a completely different plan: 40 km, 2 big climbs and 3 countries. From our appartment I started climbing up the mountains surrounding the village.
After 1.5 hr of a lot of sweating I reached the top. In typical european style I was greated by walkers looking fresh as a daisy courtesy to one of the many gondolas. I quickly left this busy place and found some solitude and stunning views across the high alpine plateau including an old defense area which also marked the boarder to Italy.
From there I descended all the way to the lake on truly amazing single trail. I jumped on a walking track that remotely looked like bikers have been down previously and discovered steep, rocky sections with stunning views of the lake (no time for pictures). Further down this trail joined on to a number of brand new, purposely built single trails. I'd say I had a pretty big grin on my face at the bottom.
I followed the lake around looking back over to the mountain I just had come down (see photo above) and then started climbing again up the other side. I was rewarded with another stunning view of the lake.
Following a mix of gravel roads and more single trails I headed back towards Nauders, crossing Switzerland on the way. All in all a perfect day capped off by chilling in the sun with my legs up.
On Sunday I explored some of the Enduro trails around the 'Mutzkopf'. This mountain started directly behind our appartment and has a range of steep and technical trails to choose from. I thought doing the 45 minute climb twice would be plenty but the trails were so much fun that I had to go up a third time (taking the chair lift actually did not cross my mind).